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Discussion in 'Security Alarms' started by Billy, Oct 9, 2003.

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  1. Billy

    Billy Guest

    I had an ADT customer who wanted to change their monitoring over to my
    service since my rate is $20/Month instead of $30/Month. When they called to
    cancel adt, adt said they would match my price of $20/Month. Any ideas?

    Thanks
     
  2. RH.Campbell

    RH.Campbell Guest

    Yes, try to tell them the truth first..... that your service is a lot faster
    than two weeks; that your prices for a service call are likely a whole lot
    less; that your
    monitoring is likely a lot better and more thorough than ADT's, and he won't
    have to
    wait on hold forever to get through for the simplest change to his calling
    list.

    The easiest ADT takeovers are the people who have had some first hand
    experience
    in dealing with the company after their system has been installed for
    awhile. But if the truth doesn't work, then lower your price to $15 as Marc
    says. Even if you're not making as much as you're used to doing, at least
    you can
    rest easy knowing you've done the guy a real favour getting him off there...

    R.H.Campbell
    Home Security Metal Products
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    www.homemetal.com
     
  3. Spike

    Spike Guest

    Walk away. Unless you are prepared to give the same break to all your 20
    dollar accounts.
     
  4. I agree. Six months from now someone else offers them service for $2 less.
    Who needs that? Tell them why they should use you and not adt, but do not
    reduce your price.
    js
     
  5. RH.Campbell

    RH.Campbell Guest

    Sensitive aren't we ! Frankly, I didn't know you were an ADT dealer Tom. Nor
    do I understand why you take offense to my experience with ADT as a third
    party dealer (6326) which has been miserable...

    All my pricing is up on my website, but since you ask, I install a standard
    6 or 8 zone panel (DSC 1555 or Paradox 738) for $500, which includes all
    doors, 2 or 3 Paradox pet motions, all basement windows armed, locks
    rekeyed, patio door security bar, front door armouring against kickin. I
    give the client back $100 if the home is properly pre-wired. I don't do
    gimmicky 2 way monitoring, I don't as a small dealer have access to
    transferring a clients account outside the city, and unless it's absolutely
    necessary, I don't use wireless equipment. ULC monitoring is $14.95 monthly,
    which includes full service when as as needed, 100% warranty on everything
    (no exceptions including batteries), and a month to month contract only with
    a five year rate guarantee. If the client wants a larger panel such as a DSC
    832, the price is $100 more. Plus I give him access to quality basement
    window bars for reasonable cost. Phoneline armouring is $100. Wireless
    keyfobs on the DSC are $125 for two keyfobs and receiver. The Escort voice
    module is about $125, but these wireless options are not very popular around
    here.

    Service calls are same (or next day with the customer's permission).

    Happy now ? And where did I ever say you were overcharging ? But let me
    repeat, ADT around here are the scumbags in the industry, with ridiculous
    pricing, lousy service, dishonest dealer sales staff on many occasions, and
    a generally poor but well deserved reputation for being the worst in the
    business. Their service calls are $200 to the door; service appointments
    average 2 weeks, and they won't even come out to service client's low
    batteries. And that is FACT!!

    I sincerely hope that is not the case in your area....

    RHC
     
  6. Bossman

    Bossman Guest

    ....$500, which includes all
    Is that $500 Canadian or $500 U.S.?

    Bossman
     
  7. RH.Campbell

    RH.Campbell Guest

    That's Canadian currency in Canada. Plus I forgot to mention, that if the
    home is prewired, I also include up to 10 ground floor windows in that price
    as well...anything over 10 windows is $15 per window. This doesn't include
    basement windows in the count....

    The issue of worth of currency is actually meaningless in this discussion
    because everything sold to us is in Canadian currency and the clients pay in
    Canadian currency, and we live on Canadian currency...

    BTW, our currency is now worth 75 cents US currency. It is predicted to rise
    in the next couple of years to be equal to the US dollar, partially because
    our economic growth is strong, and the US dollar is forcast to weaken over
    the next few years. I hope this doesn't happen, because it would wreck out
    economy, which is largely based on exports to the US.....

    RHC
     
  8. RH.Campbell

    RH.Campbell Guest

    .......this is the second post for this message. My apologies if the first
    one made it to the newsgroup........

    Jim, I don't know what the economy is like in your area, but I can assure
    you that I am making not only a good living, but a "killing" at those
    rates. However, one must be very careful to pick and choose your monitoring
    takeover accounts. For example, I don't take on businesses of any sort; I
    don't take on anything but Paradox and DSC; I don't take on accounts which
    force me to drive long distances for service, and my warranty is not totally
    complete for "takeovers". For instance, with takeovers, I do the service
    free of charge, but if large components such as wireless devices or motions
    crap out and I have to replace them, they are charged dealer cost.

    My gross is about $2000 to $2500 weekly; I get an RMR cheque monthly for
    approx $5 to $6000: I do about 2 calls a week for service, most of the time
    for things that cost little or nothing other than labour or small parts. I
    work out of a home office (tax deductible), with only those costs to bear.
    My truck is leased
    and is a 95% tax writeoff. Plus most of the computer equipment is used in
    the business and is a writeoff as well. I currently have an income that is
    about twice what I made in upper management of a large corporation (and they
    live well...:))

    Frankly, in my personal opinion, if a small entrepreneur has to charge $25
    to $30 monthly just to survive, there's something dreadfully wrong. Big
    companies need that income level to cover all their internal costs of doing
    business which can be excessive. But small guys like you and I don't !! That
    is unless we are into the "zero down" market, which again IMO is a major
    mistake for any small business man in this industry !!

    But to each his own ! This works well for me, and I don't have to chase
    business; it chases me !!

    RHC
     
  9. pudding

    pudding Guest

    If the customer is looking to save a little money without even knowing the
    quality of your service then this customer will problably always be looking
    for a bargain.

    Tell them that is your price and if you win the client, great. If not, well
    they've got a better deal and you haven't gained a tight arse who will then
    probably still go on looking for a cheaper price.

    To give in is probably unfair to your loyal clients who are paying the $20
    per month.
     
  10. Rick Lalonde

    Rick Lalonde Guest

    With all due respect Robert,
    A stronger Canadian dollar might force some Canadian manufacturers to raise
    the quality of their work to compete with US goods, as they've been accused
    of using the weak loonie as crutch...then again if they're large enough they
    may just transfer the manufacturing jobs to a third world country...then
    again the US might drop the tariff walls and protectionism and farm
    subsibies and join in some free trade with Canada.
    All I know--which ain't much--is that my import of US manufactured goods is
    getting cheaper and it sure does help the bottom line (at least from my
    small corner of the world).
    As for the Ottawa area...I think the cost of living there is around the
    highest in the country, if I'm not mistaken.
    You obviously give the customer a lot of bang for their buck (Canadian or
    American).

    Ciao

    Rick Lalonde
    The guy with a penguin on his television
     
  11. RH.Campbell

    RH.Campbell Guest

    Could be Rick. I'm no expert on such matters; I'm simply mirroring the
    sentiment of the moment as expressed on national news. All I do know is
    there are major sales and tariff problems on both sides of the border...

    Cheers

    RHC
     
  12. RH.Campbell

    RH.Campbell Guest

    With all due respect Tom, that is the most ridiculous post I have ever seen
    you make. I have to believe that it was made in anger without too much
    advance thinking. I can't believe any professional in the trade would ever
    belittle simple, basic steps taken to keep people from breaking in to homes
    as a first step. That attitude indicates to me either a gross
    misunderstanding of the nature of break and enter, or an all too typical
    attitude of "put in an
    alarm and relax" nonsense. Interestingly enough, customers do tell me that
    the sales people who do take that attitude more often than not work for one
    of ADT's local dealerships.

    Security is done in a "layered" approach. Doing the simple things to keep
    thieves from having an all too easy way of entering a home just makes sense,
    costs very little and is extremely effective if putting up that first level
    of protection against break and enter.

    Up here, most new homes have large patio doors in the back of the home. They
    can easily be defeated by either forcing the door sideways, or lifting it up
    out of it's track. With screws above and a bar across behind the moveable
    door, this becomes almost impossible. However, the FACTS are that most
    thieves simply kick in a door, and this becomes a no brainer when there is a
    long
    glass pane beside the lock side of the door. I armour that and it works ! I
    had a call from a customer the other day, who had an attempted break and
    enter when someone kicked that type of door. It held, and the thieves left.
    When she called the police, they came out and told her there had been
    numerous
    successful breakins that week in the general area the same way (in homes
    with and without alarms) and at least one of the victims was totally cleaned
    out (one without an alarm btw...) I also had alarm decals on that very door
    they kicked !! Interestingly enough, I get lots of calls from clients of
    other alarm companies asking me to do that very same thing for them !!
    Clients know it's only common sense to take every reasonable precaution to
    keep thieves out to start with as a first step, than to simply warn once
    they are already inside !

    Rekeying locks is a simple precaution everyone should take when moving into
    a new home. You simply don't know who has keys to that premise left over
    from the past occupancy. Nor do you know who in the building process has
    keys.

    Phone line armouring can be quite an involved process as you should know if
    you ever did anything like this for clients. In our area, it is an optional
    thing, since phone line cut is rare in reality. But it is very labour
    intensive to do properly.

    Frankly Tom, I'm still reeling from your post ! I have no wish to attack you
    or anyone else for your beliefs, but if your comments reflect the general
    attitude of the alarm selling companies, then we the industry have a real
    problem !! May I suggest before you answer in anger, you go up to my site
    and do some reading into the details of what I describe before blasting
    away from the hip!! Maybe you will learn something that will assist your
    customers in
    better securing their homes. And that can only help you sell a better
    "overall" solution to your customers.......

    I certainly don't suggest that I have all the
    answers by any means, but it is paramount as professionals that we all keep
    learning so
    as to better assist our customers. And this newsgroup, when used for it's
    intended purpose, can help in that regard. For example, I used to fault ADT
    for it's "one number response" until I learned in a recent thread that is
    fairly standard practice south of the border. Up here, I honestly don't know
    of any monitoring station that doesn't go through the calling list in it's
    entirety on "burgs". Customers would become very upset with this "hair
    trigger response" due to the
    additional false alarms fees generated through this kind of approach. But I
    learned something here. And this will speed up my transferring the balance
    of my 19 accounts on ADT's station to another station.

    If you are so sure that the recommendations I make to clients are "hokey",
    go up to my site and tell me what you don't think is a correct approach. I
    am perfectly willing to debate the merits of "whole house security" with you
    (as long as you don't nit pick minor details). We will have to "agree to
    disagree" on sales tactics, because I am not in the "zero down" market as I
    believe you are. But other than that, perhaps I can learn something
    from you with further discussions that will assist me in refining my advice
    to my customers as well !

    Your move my friend ....)) !!

    Regards,

    R.H.Campbell
    Home Security Metal Products
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    www.homemetal.com
     
  13. Mark Leuck

    Mark Leuck Guest

    Umm Tom you do know you ARE talking to Robert Campbell and not Robert Bass
    don't you?

    :)
     
  14. A Campbell/Fowler shootout, now I've seen it all.
    js

    Mark Leuck
     
  15. Frank Olson

    Frank Olson Guest


    I'll put it down to "PMS"... :)
     
  16. Mark Leuck

    Mark Leuck Guest

    I can excuse Tom tho, he lives in NYC
     
  17. Mark Leuck

    Mark Leuck Guest

    I have to agree with Tom on this one, too many companies are missing out on
    or know nothing about the benefits two-way voice gives, in many cases the
    response can be quicker not because of any faster response time but because
    law enforcement in some areas gives a higher priority to a two-way call.
    Many cases customers like hearing the central station come across the system
    than a phone call and we have recorded many instances of holdup and burglary
    alarms where much more information was given to the police than a simple
    report signal.

    Considering that many here compete against ADT or P1 it is an advantage in
    cases where the selling price and equipment is the same to offer 2-way voice
     
  18. Maybe it's just a CA thing, but IME, most homeowners haven't a clue as to
    what's needed to properly secure their homes.
    This tells me that you've never done it, Tom. Moving a demarc and placing
    the existing wiring in conduit so as to discourage cutting the lines IS a
    pain, and very labor intensive.
    Well, now you've finally come to your senses. If you'll come out here for a
    couple weeks, I'll show you how to install a real system. I mean it,
    windows too. (You can still use your 2-way voice thingy if you want.)

    Seriously, I see merit in both your arguments. I've considered offering
    more physical security like RHC because It's a good idea. Most of my
    clients don't pay close enough attention to that: deadbolts installed on
    hollow core exterior doors. Sliding glass doors and windows that just lift
    out etc. The trouble is, they don't want to pay for it and I don't give
    anything away for free. The two-way voice thing is interesting, but most of
    my residential jobs are on large homes. Seems you need to cover the entire
    home to make it worthwhile. Expensive to do that too. Also, 2 doors and a
    PIR just doesn't cut it IMO. Even for your "poor bastards".
    js
    Oh, yeah. :)
     
  19. Spike

    Spike Guest

    Excuse him for what? The man gives an endless warranty for 15 a month,
    replaces parts at cost and still rakes in a paltry 200K a year and you don't
    have any questions?
     
  20. RH.Campbell

    RH.Campbell Guest

    Well, I was going to respond to Tom's post, but I'll try to kill two birds
    with one stone and reply to both posts, yours and Tom's.

    After reading many comments, it seems that what is required in one part of
    the continent is not totally valid or necessary in others. Here in Ottawa,
    the extreme break and enter experiences you describe as commonplace in New
    York City, would
    without doubt make headlines here. Our problem in residential situations is
    young
    kids who WILL be put off by physical security measures. They are very
    unsophisticated in their approach to getting in, and will invariably use
    simple force to enter an unsecured premise. But the bottom line is they want
    in anywhere, not necessarily in any one particular home, and can be put off
    quite easily by properly secured entry doors, patio doors and basement
    windows. So what might seem rather "mickey mouse" to do in downtown Brooklyn
    or Los Angeles, is by no means that in other more peaceful parts of the
    continent. Tom's thoughts are not very accurate in his comments about
    armouring the front door. Steel strikes that are ten inches in length, that
    go into
    the jack studs in the wall surrounding the door frame with 3 to 4 inch
    screws, will go a long way in
    preventing this most common means of entry. As I tell my clients, I'd far
    rather see a 40 dollar lock on a properly reinforced door and frame, than a
    250 dollar Medeco lock on a weak door and frame !! But generally speaking,
    it makes good sense for everyone to ensure their "physical security" is at
    least adequate, since the true measure of their real security is the
    cumulative effect of everything done - both physical and electronic.

    My understanding of two way voice is that the monitoring station has "listen
    in" capabilities (as can be enabled with DSC equipment). I can see some
    small advantages to this way of operating (but mostly marketing advantages),
    but largely only in situations
    where "one number dispatch" is prevalent (most of North America except for
    some stations in Canada it seems....). Rather than dispatch after getting no
    answer at the home, they can "listen in" to the home (to hear what I'm not
    sure, since it's not likely any burglar would bother to respond, and the
    homeowner can answer the phone just as quickly). But it
    seems to me to be a far better solution to simply stop
    this one number dispatch and do a proper job of following the calling list
    before calling police. In fairness, it is one legitimate step some in the
    industry are taking to cut down on false alarms, but it just seems far too
    little too late ! My station only dispatches when they get no response to
    anyone on the calling list, so simply "listening in" after the first call
    still seems a bit "hokey" to me (reminds me of AlarmForce's approach....)
    But again, if we in the industry got ourselves
    into this no dispatch mess by counting sales over quality of installations,
    then I guess
    we now have to do everything we can to ensure the authorities take us
    seriously
    when we do call them out for an alarm.

    In a general manner, I do not like the nationals primarily because of their
    over emphasis on sales over total security. They peddle alarms systems as if
    they were the complete and only answer to home security. That almighty long
    term contract is the only goal in sight in many cases !! Nor do they give
    the same personalized monitoring service that smaller stations give. Let me
    give you a real life example of my own.

    Security 24 Monitoring Network Ltd here in Ottawa has always been
    known for the quality and personal level of service they give to over 180
    independant dealers around town, and across the country. They are owned
    however (at arms length) by the large conglomerate Protectron based out of
    Quebec. For the usual "bottom line" cost saving corporate reasons, they
    recently joined the two monitoring stations together - the larger one run
    directly by Protectron, and the smaller independant one run for the
    independants,
    although Security 24 still exists in name only. Since that fateful day some
    months ago, service has deteriorated rapidly. No longer is service as quick
    or as personal as it used to be. Long wait times on hold, operators who
    don't understand how to open an account, special instructions being ignored,
    alarm dispatches where there is no need, and a decline in just about
    every other aspect of dealing with them is now the order of the day. They
    are trying very hard to retrain operators and actually improve their
    service levels to what they had before, and there is real progress being
    made.
    However, in the meantime, many small and large third party dealers are
    leaving and going
    elsewhere to small upstart monitoring stations in town. My guess is the loss
    of many thousands of accounts off their station has finally gotten the
    notice of upper management, and only now are things really beginning to
    improve.
    But the bottom line (according to those in charge), is the end result of
    better service to all their accounts ultimately (both Protectron and
    Security 24 third party accounts) as they raise their service levels to
    those of Security 24 for all customers (their words not mine..)

    However, the jury is still very much out on that one !!
    So whether I like it or not, I now have to deal with a "national". But don't
    ask me to like it !!!!!

    And I'll say it again, ADT are in a league all their own in every way,
    locally....

    RHC
     
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